No lockdown in Bucharest on Easter despite new quarantine requirements

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Health Minister Vlad Voiculescu said that Bucharest City will not be placed under lockdown on Easter, adding that “only the criteria that can lead to a recommendation for the lockdown of a settlement locality have been clarified/updated.”

“There will be NO lockdown in Bucharest for Easter. The new requirements for locking down settlements have been published. We do not live in a new reality; only the criteria that can lead to a recommendation for the lockdown of a settlement locality have been clarified/updated. Prevalence of COVID-19 testing is becoming one of the main factors, along with the cumulative case rate, and the occupancy rates of hospitals and intensive care beds. Local lockdown is also defined. As usual, a lockdown decision is made based on several factors, not automatically,” Voiculescu explained in a message posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday night.

He stressed that the new criteria do not lead to a lockdown in the Capital city.

“And no, the new criteria do not lead to the lockdown for Easter of the capital the same way as the old ones did not. None of the already announced decisions of the government change.”

His explanations came after a draft order amending and supplementing the Order of the Minister of Health 1,309 / 2020 on the application of measures to prevent and contain COVID-19 was released in the Official Gazette on Tuesday evening. The new order was signed by the Health Ministry’s secretary of state, Andreea Moldovan.

Under the new rules, local lockdown can be enforces for towns or cities/metropolitan areas with over 100,000 inhabitants that meet at least 60 points. These points are awarded according to a series of indicators such as: the number of tests performed in the last seven days, the 14 cumulative case rate, its trend, the number outbreaks / total cases in the administrative areas, occupancy rate of intensive care beds in the county, occupancy rate of beds intended for patients with COVID-19 in the county.

In his turn, Bucharest prefect Alin Stoica said on Wednesday that he did not summon a meeting after the day before a ministerial order establishing the criteria for assessing the COVID-19 epidemiological risk in order to establish local lockdown, as the regulation does not change the situation in Bucharest.

“I have not summoned a meeting. That order does not change the situation. We have approved measures that we will continue to apply, as per the latest decision. If the Public Health Directorate/National Public Health Institute make other proposals, we will discuss them. But now the infection is trending down, which means the applied measures work,” Stoica said in a  press statement.

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